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NatWest names micro-gardening entrepreneur UK’s best pitch

NatWest names micro-gardening entrepreneur UK's best pitch | Fintech Finance

A ‘micro-garden’ subscription service for those living in built up urban areas has been crowned the winner of a nationwide competition to find the country’s best entrepreneurial pitch.

Finding Roots, a subscription delivery service for those living with limited outdoor space in inner cities is run by entrepreneur Lilidh Matthews, and aims to increase the number of green spaces in cities via delivery of plants and flowers direct to those with balconies or small gardens. The business has gained traction during a challenging 2020 in London and Manchester, and Matthews plans to scale further during 2021 and beyond.

NatWest’s launched its nationwide pitching competition during Global Entrepreneurship Week in October, with the bank running workshops over the last three months on how to perfect a 60 second pitch, which over 7,000 entrepreneurs attended, with a chance for the outright winner to take home £10,000 to grow their business. After whittling down entries to a final shortlist of 25, Lilidh’s business was named the winner, with the judges impressed by her passionate attitude, self-awareness and creative approach to what is a huge environmental issue

Five runners’ up were also named by the bank, ranging across a variety of diverse sectors. Dental diagnostic tech service Test My Teeth, run by James Russ carries out virtual dental work, whilst St Mark’s Meals ensures children in poverty in Milton Keynes have dinner on the table, thanks to leader Angie Row. James Wilthew’s business The Afghan Rug Shop imports handmade, fairtrade Afghan rugs into the UK, lifting over 240 Afghan families out of poverty in the process.

Also receiving a place on the accelerator are Clare Willetts’ online clothing retailer Not Only Pink and Blue, which challenges stereotypes in children’s clothes, books and toys, and Matthew Isaacs, who aims to reduce the carbon footprint of food labels with his business My Emissions. All five businesses will now take a place on NatWest’s Entrepreneur Accelerator programme.

Julie Baker, Head of Enterprise, Climate Engagement and Partnerships, NatWest said: “A compelling pitch is one of the most important tools for any entrepreneur. Whether it’s to secure new business, attract investment or simply just to get noticed, pitching is a crucial stepping stone to success.

We have been absolutely thrilled with the quality and volumes of pitches we received during the competition – the number of determined and enthusiastic entrepreneurs across the UK is an inspiration in itself.

It was an extremely tough decision, but we chose Lilidh and her business Finding Roots because we felt that her clear and compelling pitch, combined with a sustainable business agenda, makes for a formidable proposition for investors and customers alike.”

Last year, NatWest’s Entrepreneur Accelerator programme was recognised as the top accelerator in the UK for size and growth by independent business consultancy Beauhurst. The bank has supported in excess of 30,000 entrepreneurs through its Business Builder and Entrepreneur Accelerator programmes, where it offers coaching, tools and support free of charge to entrepreneurs across the UK.

To find out more about NatWest’s support for entrepreneurs, and to sign up for its Business Builder programme, please visit https://natwestbusinessbuilder.com/?ref=MEE

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